Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s prime minister, expressed his support for the idea that Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva should run for president once again in the Brazilian presidential elections of 2014.
“President Lula is 62 years old, and now he is going to rest mandatorily during four years. In four years from now, he’d be able to work for another eight years, for the good of Brazil, and in that way he would reach the age of 74 just as young and full of energy as I am,” he said.
Berlusconi made these statements after meeting with Lula in Brazil’s financial hub, São Paulo, in the framework of an official visit by the Italian PM to the South American giant, accompanied by a delegation of businessmen.
Lula’s return, whose popularity indexes surpass 80%, as candidate in the 2014 elections is a recurring topic in Brazilian politics, something the president has never confirmed, although he has not denied it either.
“I chose a person (Dilma Rousseff, his candidate) whom I consider to be the best I have, the most competent, the most prepared, the boldest. Therefore, if she is chosen, she has the right to fight for a second term,” said Lula, next to Berlusconi.
Dilma Rousseff, an economist and former guerrilla from the seventies, was Lula’s energy minister and later cabinet chief. Although she has no electoral experience, she’s considered a tough, determined bureaucrat that gets things done.
Her campaign so far has been based on the prestige and public opinion support for Lula and only last week managed for the first time to overtake her main rival, José Serra from the opposition Brazilian Social Democrats.
Serra, a former mayor of the City of São Paulo, and ex governor of the state of São Paulo and ex Health minister under president Fernando Henrique Cardoso commands great respect in political circles and the business and financial communities, but he has to battle with the incredible success of Brazil’s most popular president in the last 50 years, Lula.
Brazilian presidential elections are scheduled for October 3, with a runoff October 31st if no candidate manages 50% of votes cast plus one. Lula da Silva steps down after two consecutive periods January first 2011.